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By ESPN Staff

'Haaland challenge saved my career' - Keane

Sunderland manager Roy Keane has claimed his clash with Alf-Inge Haaland which put him out of action for nine months actually saved his career.

The former Manchester United midfielder suffered a cruciate knee ligament injury after a challenge with then Leeds player Haaland nine years ago.

Keane returns to Elland Road tonight for his second match in charge of the Black Cats and he chose to remember that Haaland incident.

'It was probably a good thing that happened to me. I had to look at the bigger picture and what I was doing on and off the pitch,' he said.

'It put me out for nine months but in a strange way it was one of the turning points of my career because I was taking everything for granted.

'I wasn't leading the right lifestyle. I wasn't preparing properly and when I was out I had to step back and take a look at where I was going wrong.

'So as much as there was a downside, believe it or not there was a plus.

'I learnt a lot about myself.'